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What is the Best Safe Locking System to Buy?

Safes come in a variety of shapes and sizes with different types of locking mechanisms that are designed to suit a variety of purposes. Choosing between an Electronic or Combination Dial Lock is a matter of personal preference. Most manufacturers offer a choice between a Dial or E-Lock for most of their safes. The Security of a Lock has more to do with its Security Rating and most Dial & E-locks offer both Group II or Group I.

Electronic Lock


  • Quick and easy access
  • Change the combination at any time
  • Illumination is easier to see in low or no light
  • Automatically locking Door 


  • Possibility of electronic failure but very rare  
  • Must change the combination regularly to prevent wearing down frequently used numbers on the key pad
  • Must change the batteries (about once a year)
  • Shorter life span (lock lasts about 10-15 years)

Combination Dial Lock


  • No electronic parts to go bad
  • No batteries to replace
  • The locks are typically more durable & last longer 


  • Requires turning the dial back and forth
  • Must land on the numbers exactly
  • More difficult to see the numbers in low light
  • The door doesn’t auto-lock when closed (you must spin the dial to lock

What if the battery dies on my E-Lock?

You can replace the battery in the Key Pad without opening the safe. Additionally, most e-locks have a low battery alert to notify you when the battery gets low. 

Can I change the combination on my Dial Lock?

Not usually, combination dial locks come with factory pre-set combinations. In some cases combination can be changed by a certified locksmith. 

What is the “LOCKOUT” feature on E-Locks?

Most E-Locks have an automatic lock-out feature that disables the lock for a period of time (usually 15 to 20 minutes) if someone enters three or four incorrect combinations consecutively. This helps prevent a would-be thief from entering several different combinations in a short time.



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